Why did I originally seek to buy a non-disposable bottle?
While many people might switch for more noble reasons, like the environment, I think a more persuasive reason might be something localized to your personal health and getting enough water daily; instead of a much harder-to-notice global impact. For me, it was because I wanted to drink more water. Getting a bottle was an easy way to remove some lazy, but impactful, barriers. Putting water near me at all times was a good step. Using a bottle was nicer than a cup while at work or home because it was always portable in any state of urgency. It lowered the frequency of water refills that was keeping me from staying properly hydrated.
Another consideration might be the price you pay for portable water, it adds up quick. If the earth, future, or your personal health isn’t enough of a reason to start carrying and drinking more water, how about the small chunk of change you will start to save relatively soon after you purchase and start to use a non-disposable bottle. A gallon of bottled water in the US in September, 2018 on average costs $1.22. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends between 91 and 125 fluid ounces (fl. oz.) daily. If half of your daily water intake comes from portable water which you bring with you or buy on location and demand of thirstiness, it costs about fifty cents a day. If you just double the price of the non-disposable bottle you are eyeballing and change that number to days, that’s how long before the bottle has paid itself off. (e.g. a $25 bottle takes 50 days to become theoretically profitable) Thats a relatively short ROI.
You need to identify your use case. Mine was to drink more water daily. Which meant always having water near me and it’s permanently portable while keeping the stuff I was drinking cold until I finished and had to refill.
What do you want to look for in a bottle?
How much attention do you want to have to give to your bottle when it’s time to clean it out? Is it a must to be dishwasher safe? Is a bottle brush set [SELLOUT AMAZON LINK] and a few minutes alright for you? Some of the insulated bottles can be washed safely in the dishwasher if you don’t mind voiding the warranty or possibly damaging the exterior coating. The insulating properties probably won’t be affected.
Leak-proof should be assumed when buying a capped bottle, otherwise use a cup. A bottle should not create an attention to spill or not to spill.
One important deciding factor for the bottle you’re going to buy is whether or not you want the liquid to stay cold or hot for a long time. I live in a desert. Between 2016 and 2017 there were 4 months where everyday it reached 90 F or above and 113 days that were over 100 F. I wanted a bottle that was insulated well.
Construction material and style is something that will be a big deciding factor on the style of bottle you gravitate towards.
I don’t own any glass bottles, for some people who want the ultimate water purity possible in a portable bottle, buy glass. I don’t, they are too fragile for my uses. I don’t have time to clean that up, or find out it has become disassembled [read: shattered] when I reach into my bag for something else. If you want to go with glass, check out TWC for more info on a few of them.
Stainless steel is another common material you’ll find when searching through bottles, insulated and non-insulated. Steel is light when used in single wall construction (non-insulated), but in a vacuum sealed double steel wall bottle you have essentially double the amount of steel. So, an insulated bottle will always be a good amount heavier.
[VACUUM WALL CONSTR. PICS HERE]
There are generally going to be two different categories of plastic bottles I bring up here. Plastic is generally lightweight too. They will either be rigid plastic or collapsible soft plastic. In my case I have a couple Nalgene bottles which I use to chill water in the fridge or take with me on trips for water transportation or cooking while camping. The next step in my bottle adventure I will seek out the redesigned collapsible market. They may be handy for airports or other locations or situations you cannot bring liquid or a large item in with you but wil be able to fill up the bottle once inside. Or once you’re done with your drink you can reduce the footprint greatly to store in your bag or purse.
The last material I don’t own a bottle in yet is titanium. I think titanium will be the lightest on the list for weight ratio of the material used vs water held. Titanium is also useful while camping or backpacking because you can boil water or cook in it in an open fire without worrying about leeching anything like a plastic bottle or not being able to boil due to vacuum barrier inside an insulated steel bottle. Cons to a titanium bottle is the higher price. But titanium is strong and cool!
[BOTTLE WEIGHT CHART SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE]
After you have identified your use case the next questions you should ask are how much do you want to carry, for how long, in what condition (hot, cold, room temp)? From my research I’d consider a standard size to be between 21 and 35 fl. oz.. As I mentioned earlier, your daily water intake should be between 91 and 125 fl. oz. (that’s 11 ½ - 15 ½ cups of water a day). My main daily insulated bottle is 24 fl. oz.. So, I have 3 cups of water at hand, usually. That means I only have to drink 4 bottles and I have succeeded in getting the daily recommended volume of water in my body.
Next think about events and activities you’ll be using this for the most. Those might include work, class, gym, biking, camping, or backpacking. Is it traveling with you or going to be tied to a location?
If you’ve already taken a liking to a certain style of lid from disposable bottles you’ll usually be able to choose your preferred style with most companies. Some are supposedly cross-compatible, though I haven’t done so myself, I can and should and report back. [KK in HF for example]
Bottle mouth diameter is important if you want it to be compatible with your ice cube tray or maker.
[MOUTH FOR ICE PICS OR CHART]
The bottle diameter may be crucial to you if you are always using it in a car with certain size cup holders or a backpack with a side bottle pocket. Most of the standard ones I talk about fit your average car or bag-bottle-pocket. I will make note when they are larger than would be expected for a cupholder or backpack. Before you buy anything, go measure the thing you’re thinking about right now and just make sure.
Does condensation matter to you? I use mine in and out of a bag at work around other equipment I can’t get wet. I also sleep with mine next to my bed. Often it will end up in bed after I woke up in the middle of the night thirsty. Staying cold, and ‘non-sweaty’ on me or my bedding was perfect.
A loop for a carabiner? Or a carabiner built in?
What did I choose?
When it came down to it for me I think it was between FF (FIFTY/FIFTY) and HF. I think I read about finish being higher on HF marginally. [FIND EVIDENCE IF POSSIBLE] And I was all about buying the top 1% so I went HF. I’ve had no reason to regret the choice. I’ve dropped it long drops on rocks in the forest. Accidentally threw over my back into a rock that reflected it into the river which I had to hurry downstream to catch. All of these never diminishing their insulating properties and adding some character to the exterior too!
I ended up choosing a 24 fl. oz. Hydro Flask with a twist off cap. I never tried but read that you are able to mix and match Klean Kanteen lids. I will get on trying that soon. ($$$)
I purchased white HF [THIS DATE]. Later I purchased a 40 fl. oz. Hydro Flask that has become more stationary to home because its large and is heavy when full. I bought Black HF [THIS DATE]. Twitch nalgene [THIS DATE], HK NALGENE [THIS DATE].
Repeating about use of HF at home etc, mentioned earlier, rectify.
I used a platypus for awhile around work. It was great because when I finished I could roll it up and put it in my back pocket until I got back to my desk. I also threw a carabiner on it and would just clip it to my jeans. I took it with me on a trip to Yosemite and popped it cause I was pretty rough with it. I read they have updated the bottles though since 2017 so that is in the plans to revisit.
I owned a Nomader too which I want to get and compare next too. [this is fucked sentence]
What do I want to learn more about in the future?
I also want to explore a titanium daily non-insulated edc bottle for weight and in the 3 seasons that aren’t summer room temp water is good.
The last col. bottle I want to try is Vapur.
Future tests to run, col. bottles with weight on them to simulate in backpack or other bag. Also simulate stand performance with ½ full and ¼ full.